Available Now: NOS Tudor Black Bay and Pelagos State of Qatar

Available Now: NOS Tudor Black Bay and Pelagos State of Qatar

What is the perfect way to celebrate a great achievement? Whether it’s 25 years’ service to a company, a significant business achievement or just proclaiming how amazing something is; I can think of nothing better than the gift of a watch. There is a long tradition in the UK for employees to receive a gold watch for long service, often with an inscription on the case back. To truly go one step further, a company logo on the dial is extra special and if you are a ruler of a kingdom, how baller would it be to have your national emblem on the dial? Epic!

Since the 1960s, the House of Wilsdorf has allowed a certain level of customisation of its watches. Some of these watches have become hugely desirable, such as those Submariners and Sea-Dwellers with COMEX stamped on the dial. To be clear, these dive watches that were issued to divers working for pioneering dive company Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises (COMEX) are coveted due to the incredible feats that the wearers achieved and the dangerous missions on which the watches were worn; they are more than just a pretty stamped face! Other logo dials were ordered by the Sultan of Oman who had the ‘Khanjar’ logo printed on the dial of Sea-Dwellers, Daytonas and Day-Dates, amongst others, as gifts to military personnel and VIPs. And then there were companies who ordered more simple watches with the company logo on the dial for employees.

A 1984 "COMEX" Submariner ref. 16800, which sold with Phillips at their November 2016 auction in Geneva, for CHF 75,000; as of the late 1960s, Rolex exclusively supplied different Submariner and Sea-Dweller models featuring the patented helium escape valve, to COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise) in Marseilles. They were issued to their specialist divers with each watch marked COMEX on the dial and numbered on the rear (Image: phillips.com)
A 1984 "COMEX" Submariner ref. 16800, which sold with Phillips at their November 2016 auction in Geneva, for CHF 75,000; as of the late 1960s, Rolex exclusively supplied different Submariner and Sea-Dweller models featuring the patented helium escape valve, to COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise) in Marseilles. They were issued to their specialist divers with each watch marked COMEX on the dial and numbered on the rear (Image: phillips.com)
Two rare Khanjar dial Rolex Daytona ref. 6265s; the one on the right, the "Floating" Daytona piece is the property of Bruce McDonald, while the non-floating version is an example that was auctioned off by Bonhams in December of 2019 for £ 375,062 (Image: @bexsonn)
Two rare Khanjar dial Rolex Daytona ref. 6265s; the one on the right, the "Floating" Daytona piece is the property of Bruce McDonald, while the non-floating version is an example that was auctioned off by Bonhams in December of 2019 for £ 375,062 (Image: @bexsonn)

You can read about the above rare Khanjar Daytona ref. 6265 watches, here.

One of the most commonly ordered watches was the humble Air King. Seen as an entry level Rolex, it was the most affordable automatic watch in the catalogue and therefore commercially viable for ordering en masse by corporations. The ground-breaking 2008 Antiquorum ‘Revolution’ sale, a Rolex-themed auction that consisted entirely of Rolex sports models, featured a run of Air Kings that recognised the watch and its role in the evolution of the Rolex sports watch. As part of the Air King section, there were examples of watches that featured the logos of companies such as Winn Dixie (US Supermarket chain), Pool Intairdril (Libyan Oil Company) and Domino’s Pizza. It was also the era that a lot of Middle Eastern states commissioned dials with the logos on, which brings us to a pair of very cool Tudors…

One of the most commonly ordered Rolex watches with specially printed dials was the humble Air King; pictured here is an instance of the Ref. 14000, Air-King with the Domino's Pizza company's logy and as well a metal badge adorning the steel bracelet (Image: Antiquorum)
One of the most commonly ordered Rolex watches with specially printed dials was the humble Air King; pictured here is an instance of the Ref. 14000, Air-King with the Domino's Pizza company's logo and as well a metal badge adorning the steel bracelet (Image: Antiquorum)

2012 was an important year for many watch collectors, as it marked the beginning of an era when one could buy a Tudor Big Crown dive watch for under £2000! The Black Bay was, to this Rolex and Tudor lover, about as exciting as any watch launch could be. And the brand hasn’t stopped delivering knockout blow after knockout blow when it comes to watches in the Black Bay family and also in the Pelagos line. A professional dive watch equipped with a helium escape valve, dare I say, the Pelagos has more cool appeal than its older cousin the Rolex Sea-Dweller. In collector terms, it’s hard to make these watches even cooler – unless they have a classy and interesting custom feature!

A pristine NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black Bay that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
A pristine NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black Bay that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
A rarely seen but amazingly NOS Tudor State of Qatar Pelagos with a black dial that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
A rarely seen but amazingly NOS Tudor State of Qatar Pelagos with a black dial that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
Both NOS Tudor Black Bay and Pelagos State of Qatar watches available to purchase on Shop.Revolution.Watch at the time of publish, come complete with full set of pox and papers (©Revolution)
Both NOS Tudor Black Bay and Pelagos State of Qatar watches available to purchase on Shop.Revolution.Watch at the time of publish, come complete with full set of pox and papers (©Revolution)

Tudor has been quietly producing small runs watches for important clients for a few years now. I’ve written about a couple of killer examples over on tudorcollector.com. Two of the most well known were commissioned by the State of Qatar and there are examples of both Pelagos Black and Black Bays (there was also a Pelagos Blue for the Qatar Watch Club, a private collector community in Qatar, that was ordered through retailer Fifty One East). And what a difference a dial makes! The watches are in essence regular watches with factory printed dials that have the Arabic writing ‘STATE OF QATAR’ with the English translation beneath. Again to be clear, there are any number of customizers in the world who could create a commemorative dial, but the point of these watches is that Tudor did these in-house and so are therefore official pieces from the Maison. Does it get any cooler? I doubt it!

NOS Tudor State of Qatar Pelagos With All Factory Wrapping on Case & Bracelet Intact

To showcase that the NOS Tudor State of Qatar Pelagos with a black dial, is in fact NOS, you can see that the watch still has its factory plastic wrapping on in the presented photographs; available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch at the time of publication (©Revolution)
To showcase that the NOS Tudor State of Qatar Pelagos with a black dial, is in fact NOS, you can see that the watch still has its factory plastic wrapping on in the presented photographs; available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch at the time of publication (©Revolution)
A rarely seen but amazingly NOS Tudor State of Qatar Pelagos with a black dial that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
A rarely seen but amazingly NOS Tudor State of Qatar Pelagos with a black dial that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
A rarely seen but amazingly NOS Tudor State of Qatar Pelagos with a black dial that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
A pristine NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black Bay that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)

NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black Bay With All Factory Wrapping on Case & Bracelet Intact

To showcase that the NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black with a burgundy bezel, is in fact NOS, you can see that the watch still has its factory plastic wrapping on in the presented photographs; available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch at the time of publication (©Revolution)
To showcase that the NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black with a burgundy bezel, is in fact NOS, you can see that the watch still has its factory plastic wrapping on in the presented photographs; available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch at the time of publication (©Revolution)
A pristine NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black Bay that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
A pristine NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black Bay that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)
A pristine NOS Tudor State of Qatar Black Bay that is at the time of publication available for purchase through Shop.Revolution.Watch (©Revolution)

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Ross Povey

Ross Povey, the founder of TudorCollector.com is regarded as the world’s leading expert on vintage Tudor watches. Although an expert on Rolex and Tudor watches primarily, Ross’s work covers the entire field of horology and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine in the UK. He writes for and has contributed to some of the most influential horological publications, including; The Telegraph, The Rake, Bulang & Sons, Watchonista, Hodinkee, QP and is the co-author of the book Daytona Perpetual, a celebration of the automatic Rolex Daytona released through Pucci Papaleo Editore. Ross is also an international speaker and regularly hosts watch events in the UK and Europe.